When I had my first child, I remember getting an earful of advice. Some of the comments were wanted and some definitely were not. In addition, often times, I heard conflicting information from people, experts and the web. By the time I had my second child, I had figured out where to look for reliable information and who to listen to for good parenting advice.
The internet is a quick way to find information on milestones, birthday party ideas and discipline advice. I frequently look up information on fevers, kid friendly recipes and more. Yet, it is important to look on reputable websites for advice. Sometimes, I cringe when I see comments on questions and answer sites. I’ve see people advise moms to put honey in a baby’s bottle and turn the car seat around before the age of one. There are opinions and then there is information that could potentially harm your child. You can get advice from the internet. Simply don’t make any life altering decisions before getting a second opinion.
Family members can be well meaning. My rule of thumb is to listen and take their advice to heart. However, if the same person keeps giving the same “unwanted” advice over and over again, it might be time to ask him or her to stop. On the other hand, it is possible to have a MIL or SIL who you might learn a thing or two from. Use your best judgment but don’t assume that an “experienced” parent is always wiser.
Often times, my friends have children that are around the same age as my own children. Thus, it’s nice to bounce ideas off of one another. I have gotten tips on good preschools, swim lessons and potty training advice. Still, some friends can be pushy about imposing their parenting style on you. Don’t feel bad about saying your toddler can’t eat hard candy. If “Sue” is really your friend, then she won’t get her feathers ruffled.
When I had a newborn or young baby, I always emailed or called the doctor’s office. After all, if my baby wasn’t acting right or was sick, I didn’t want to take chances. Sometimes, I overreacted. Other times, I was happy I sought out the advice. However, while I look to my pediatrician on whether or not my child has strep, I’m not going to ask her for disciplining advice.
There are hundreds of books out there on how to get your baby to sleep better. There are many more advising on disciplining your toddler or your teen. Still, I think you simply have to do what is best for your family.
There are so many differing opinions on how to raise a child. In the end, I try to stay informed, listen and trust my instincts.
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